Linda Thomas-Greenfield, speaking at an event in 2019 put on by the communist-supported Confucius Institute network, talked positively about China, telling the public that the country has invested in Africa in multiple ways, including railway programs and other infrastructure development.
Africa would not profit from the conflict between the United States and China, she added, saying the United States could “learn from China and its recent success on the continent.”
“Ultimately, the future is about Africa and its people. The U.S. should be focused on building a strong partnership with Africa which is based on shared values of peace, prosperity, sustained economic growth and development, and a firm commitment to good governance, gender equity, and the rule of law. I see no reason why China cannot share in those values. In fact, China is in a unique position to spread these ideals given its strong footprint on the continent,” she said.
During her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, senators pressed Thomas-Greenfield over the speech. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) said the greatest concern “was the lack of acknowledgment of the malign activities of China.”
The candidate told senators that she has a large track record of acknowledging those activities and expressed concern for taking the offer to speak at the Savannah State University Confucius Institute.
Thomas-Greenfield also stated she was “surprised” that the institute was involved in projects in Georgia high schools and elementary schools.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) later said he has believed for a long time that the greatest menace to America is China and said he’s growing worried about what he described as an exemplar among Biden nominees “of consistently moving towards and embracing the Chinese Communist Party.”
The pattern became worse, he said, when the speech Thomas-Greenfield gave revealed on Tuesday, noting that Congress enacted legislation cracking down on Confucius Institutes because of their role in scattering propaganda.
“At the same time that the United States Congress and the United States government is acting to combat the spying, the espionage, and the propaganda coming from Confucius Institutes, run and controlled by the Chinese communist government … you were apparently going to a Confucius Institute, giving a paid speech, and praising China. How do you reconcile those two?” Cruz asked.
The Chinese Communist Party is “undermining our values and undermining what we believe in,” the nominee responded. “They’re undermining our security and our people. We need to work against that.”
“I want to say in no uncertain terms that I look forward to working with this body to address these issues. You have taken some incredible steps and I support all of those steps, and I will be working aggressively against the Chinese efforts in New York,” she added.